Drug Abuse -People abuse drugs for various reasons, what is drug abuse?
A drug is a substance that is used to treat an illness, relieve a symptom, or alter a chemical process in the body. It could be a psychoactive substance ingested for recreational purposes, it could be illegal and addictive. Drugs could be ingested in different ways, either by swallowing, inhalation, injecting directly into the bloodstream, and cutaneous reception.
Drug abuse is an illegal use of drugs and chemical substances in a way that is harmful to the human body. Drug abuse is not just about psychoactive substances like marijuana or heroin, most legal drugs are commonly abused by persons. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can help revive our health, but some can be addictive and really dangerous when taken the wrong way. A person who abuses a drug is termed a drug addict.
Drugs that are abused are mostly psychoactive substances which are alcohol, cocaine, tobacco, heroin, marijuana, and all others. Most of these drugs are gotten from plants; cocaine got from coca, opium from the poppy plant, and marijuana from cannabis. Others are synthetic drugs such as heroin and ecstasy. Cannabis, marijuana, and heroin are the most abused drug in the world.
Addicts who abuse drugs experience long-term damage to the body which could be in the form of cancer, fatigue of muscle, hyper activeness, low psychology of thinking, brain damage, and damage of body organs.
People abuse drugs for various reasons. Here is a highlight on the causes of drug abuse;
Curiosity and peer pressure especially from school children and young adults in the university.
Use of prescription of drug intended to relieve the body which may have been turned into recreational use and becomes addictive. Barbiturate is an example of a drug which helps with anxiety and sleep problem. Overdose of these drugs can lead you to get an addiction to them, and then you feel you can’t sleep or function without them.
For recreational purposes and for obtaining creative inspiration.
For physical manpower to do work.
For sexual pleasure and agility.
These drugs that are abused fall into these categories and these include;
Depressants; this drug induces depression of the brain and body system. The drug decrease neuronal and physiological activities of the body. Examples of depressants are barbiturates (sleeping pills), heroin, alcohol, and anti-anxiety tranquilizers e.g Librium and Thorazine.
Stimulants; stimulates the brain and cause alertness and increased activity. This is characterized by rapid heart rate, dilation of pupils, high blood pressure, nausea or vomiting, and various behavioral changes such as agitation. It may also cause delusional psychosis. Examples of stimulants are cocaine and amphetamines.
Hallucinogens; these drug causes persons to see things differently from the actual picture of what they are. It causes a feeling of dissociation from oneself, paranoia, and even depression. Examples are ecstasy, mescaline, and LSD.
Narcotics Analgesics; relieve pain but causes mood changes in the person, like inducing euphoria. Examples of these narcotics analgesics are opium, heroin, codeine, morphine, and Vicodin.
Anesthetics; are dissociative anesthetics that inhibit pain by cutting off or dissociating the brain’s perception of pain. Dextromethorphan is an example.
Administration of these drugs could take different routes and forms. These include;
Oral; this is the most frequently used route of administration for drugs. Barbiturates, morphine, alcohol, and sleeping pills could be taken orally.
Injection; could be subcutaneous or intravenous. Here, absorption of drugs into the bloodstream is faster and a defect is almost immediate.
Snorting; these are done through the nose. Examples of drugs taken through snorting are cocaine.
Smoking; is similar to inhalation as it entails inhaling and exhaling of the smoke. Drugs that can be smoked are marijuana and methamphetamine.
Rectal; it is not really a common or popular route of drug administration, but it is a possible route. It is also called drug-boofing or butt-chugging. Pain killers, benzodiazepem, could be administered through this means.
Drug abuse is mostly seen in teenagers and youths under 30 years of age around the world. About 190 million persons worldwide consume harmful drugs like marijuana, cannabis, ecstasy, and heroin. Statistics have shown that men are more likely to abuse drugs than women, singles are more likely to abuse drugs than married persons, urban dwellers are more likely to abuse drugs than rural dwellers, prisoners and street children are also more likely to abuse drugs.
Most of these persons who engage in drug abuse do so at times to escape life feelings, pains, and their fears. They want to let go of reality and not face it. Others feel the need to belong somewhere while others do it for pleasure and fun.
Assistance given to an addict should be protective therapy and engagement in other productive activities. They should not be stigmatized or ostracized from the community.
It might take time to help change an addict but it could be prevented in the young and innocent ones.